Revelio Labs raises cash to scrape the public web for HR insights

Revelio Labs, a startup developing analytics software for HR teams, today announced that it raised $15 million in a Series A round with participation from Elephant Partners, Alumni Ventures, BDMI, K20 Ventures, Techstars and Barclays. Bringing the company’s total raised to $19 million, the proceeds will be put toward expanding Revelio’s offerings for corporate HR and strategy, CEO Ben Zweig tells TechCrunch.

Zweig co-launched Revelio with the company’s second co-founder, Yedidya Gorsetman, in early 2018. Prior to Revelio, Zweig was a managing data scientist at IBM in the chief analytics office. Gorsetman came from the film industry, where he produced mostly commercials and feature-length films.

“While at IBM, I had worked on a lot of people analytics projects using internal HR data,” Zweig told TechCrunch in an email interview. “A lot of the work was very interesting, but after three years, I began to notice a frustrating trend. We would have a finding about our workforce — like we were gaining or losing a type of employee — but it was never clear if that was a good thing or a bad thing, because we were only seeing internal data, and we had no way of knowing if the same was true for our competitors.”

Revelio attempts to solve this problem by ingesting and analyzing public employment records to create what Zweig describes as a “universal HR database.” The platform provides metrics on headcounts, as well as inflows and outflows at the occupation, location, seniority, education, gender and ethnicity levels across companies. It also shows trends on job postings, general staff sentiment and layoff notices.

To accomplish this, Revelio scrapes public profiles, resumes and job postings on the web and curates them through the use of in-house algorithms. Zweig claims that Revelio can help answer questions like where talent is being acquired from and why people are joining or leaving a specific company.

“In our taxonomies, we’ve created a mathematical representation of every job title, seniority level, work activity, skill and company. That allows us to automatically adapt to a changing economy, in a much more accurate and simple way,” Zweig explained. “In addition to our job, skill, and activity taxonomies, we’ve also created a company taxonomy mapping to understand [which] companies compete for talent and which compete for products and services.”


Image Credits: Revelio

Privacy concerns aside, hiring data can be rife with results-skewing errors and omissions — a fact Zweig readily acknowledges. He claims that Revelio’s internal processes mitigate this to the extent possible, but the company’s own documentation reveals the limitations of its measures, like when the platform recently wasn’t reporting people’s highest degrees. Revelio is also subject to the whims and policies of its data sources; last May, Revelio lost access to user skills for the majority of public profiles and was forced to implement an alternative solution.

In another potential knock against Revelio, the company isn’t the only one that’s canvassed the web for hiring insights. For example, there was Joberate, which looked across social media to attempt to predict the likelihood particular staff will leave; Wilson Human Capital acquired the firm in March.

But Zweig argues that Revelio is one of the few vendors to date to create a standard way to understand HR trends across firms and industries — and to make it easy to access.

“The current setup [of legacy companies] requires huge teams of analysts and expensive infrastructures to see even the most basic changes. But at Revelio, we’re automating ways to easily interpret what’s going on and deliver it in an easy to use experience, so that anybody can access this critical intelligence,” he said.

That may be so — but will HR professionals use it? Surveys suggest that they’re generally reluctant when it comes to new software, no matter the application. According to one from PwC in 2020, more than 80% of companies said that they struggled with HR tech adoption challenges, which the authors blamed on planning phases that failed to get the right stakeholders involved.

In response, Zweig points to Revelio’s over 150 customers, ranging from the U.S. Federal Reserve System to banking institutions like Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Citi, as well as consulting firms KPMG and EY and academic institutions, including MIT and Harvard Business School. Use cases vary, but they’re substantive. In August, Revelio collaborated with KPMG to compare the employment and sentiment impact of SPACs to traditional IPOs.

“The economy right now is dominated by labor market uncertainty and we’re in the unique position to provide a lot of answers to that uncertainty. We couldn’t have known this at the time, but the pandemic ended up accelerating our growth because suddenly as the world was going through major shifts, everyone started tracking this,” Zweig continued, but declined to reveal firm revenue figures. “With trends like The Great Resignation and ‘quiet quitting,’ the private sector is increasingly turning to workforce intelligence platforms like Revelio in order to identify talent issue-areas and pave out potential solutions.”

New York–based Revelio currently has around 50 employees.